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How to highlight all cells referenced by a formula in Excel?

This article is talking about highlighting all cells which was referenced by a formula in Excel. Please follow the below two methods to get it done.

Highlight all cells referenced by a formula with Shortcut key

Highlight all cells referenced by a formula with VBA code

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arrow blue right bubbleHighlight all cells referenced by a formula with Shortcut key


This section will recommend you to use Shortcut key to select all cells which was referenced by a formula, and then manually fill color to them.

1. Supposing E1 is a formula cell, and you need to highlight all cells which was referenced by it. Please select the formula cell E1, then press Ctrl + [ (the open-square-bracket) keys simultaneously.

2. Now cells that referenced by this formula are selected, please specify a fill color to highlight them. See screenshot:


arrow blue right bubbleHighlight all cells referenced by a formula with VBA code

You can also running VBA code to highlight all cells which was referenced by a formula in Excel.

1. Press Alt + F11 keys to open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

2. In the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window, please click Insert > Module. Then copy and paste the below VBA code into the Module window.

VBA code: Highlight all cells referenced by a formula in Excel

Sub HighlightCellsReferenced()
    Dim rowCnt As Integer
    Dim i As Integer, j As Integer, strleng As Integer
    Dim strTxt As String, strFml As String
    Dim columnStr, cellsAddress As String
    Dim xRg As Range, yRg As Range
    On Error Resume Next
    Set xRg = Application.InputBox(Prompt:="Please select formula cell(s)...", _
    Title:="Kutools For Excel", Type:=8)
    
    strTxt = ""
    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    For Each yRg In xRg
        If yRg.Value <> "" Then
            strFml = yRg.Formula + " "
            strFml = Replace(strFml, "(", " ")
            strFml = Replace(strFml, ")", " ")
            strFml = Replace(strFml, "-", " ")
            strFml = Replace(strFml, "+", " ")
            strFml = Replace(strFml, "*", " ")
            strFml = Replace(strFml, "/", " ")
            strFml = Replace(strFml, "=", " ")
            strFml = Replace(strFml, ",", " ")
            strFml = Replace(strFml, ":", " ")
              
            For j = 1 To Len(strFml)
                If Mid(strFml, j, 1) <> " " Then
                    cellsAddress = cellsAddress + Mid(strFml, j, 1)
                Else
                    On Error Resume Next
                    Range(cellsAddress).Interior.ColorIndex = 3
                    cellsAddress = ""
                End If
            Next
        End If
    Next yRg
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

3. Press the F5 key to run the code. In the popping up Kutools for Excel dialog box, please select a formula cell or multiple formula cells which you need to highlight referenced cells based on, and then click the OK button. See screenshot:

Now all referenced cells based on the selected formula cell(s) are highlighted in red immediately as below screenshot shown.


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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Thomas · 2 years ago
    That was really helpful. One additional question. Could someone tell me how to adjust the code, such that ONLY the blank referenced cells are highlighted and not all of them?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Bullz · 2 years ago
    That was really helpful. One additional question. Could someone tell me how to adjust the code, such that ONLY the blank referenced cells are highlighted and not all of them?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Donald · 2 years ago
    Really liked it! But just one thing -- colon should be taken care of separately since it refers to a range.